Confor confirms timber industry key worker status

26 March 2020

Defra spokesperson confirms to Confor that entire timber supply chain has key worker status and can continue to work if safe to do so.

The complete Defra statement reads: “Those involved in the supply chain of wood for key goods (including, but not limited to pallets, heating, packaging, tissue paper, timber harvesting, sawmills) should be considered key workers. Only necessary workers, producing key goods, should continue to attend workplaces. Working from home should be encouraged for administrative staff.”

“I welcome this vital clarification of the key role of the forestry and wood processing supply chain in providing wood products to support an important range of essential products, “ said Stuart Goodall, chief executive of Confor. “Society is facing a tremendous challenge and the forestry and wood processing industry is keen to play its part. I would also remind everyone operating in these supply chains that it is vital that they follow Government and NHS guidance.” 

Confor is also working with the Scottish Government, Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry and counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland on providing assurance to the industry in these countries.

“Key worker status recognises the importance of wood products, but it also highlights the importance of keeping the supply chain going, and we will be working with Defra to help map out and understand what the impacts will be: on the maintenance of critical supply chains in the short term, and on the health of the sector in the longer term.” Mr Goodall added.